I have visited or lived near Philadelphia on numerous occasions. It is familiar to me in many ways and unfamiliar in others. There seems to be a condition that I find both engaging and troubling about it. On one hand, the stress of an uncomfortable and unpredictable climate, poor road maintenance, crime, and poverty seem to together to add enough stress to make for a city of interesting conversationalists. There are also beautiful natural and architectural masterpieces to include a sense of history reminiscent of European cities.
It is no accident, in my mind, that great beer, coffee, and food compensate for the stress of the environment.
It is my first visit since Axel’s death and I enjoy the good will of his many friends and admirers by extension.
Just the same, I am unsure whether I am safe here as it would seem that I attract persons who believe that my apparent good will and health mean that I am a fruit ripe for the picking. It is all a mirage however, much like the sense in Los Angeles, that everyone is in some form a participant in show business. Since my self-confidence is a sham, I fit right in. My smile is my parasol.